Mohammed Hanif Khan worked with much recognition as the first Muslim minister at HMP Dovegate, in Marchington, receiving a Butler Trust award from Princess Anne back in 2004.
He appeared at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court earlier this week accused of committing serious sexual offences with two young boys.
The 41-year-old is accused of three counts of rape against a 13-year-old boy in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.
He is further accused of attempted rape and sexual activity with a boy under the age of 16 in Meir, Stoke-on- Trent. Both charges relate to a period between July and October last year.
Khan denies the charges and was remanded in custody by magistrates to appear at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on Monday for a preliminary hearing.
The decision to remand Khan caused much derision among his many supporters who called off an impromptu demonstration after police agreed to meet with them to discuss the case.
There is expected to be a protest outside the court on Monday by those who believe Khan to be wrongfully accused.
Khan became the first ever full-time Islamic Minister in the history of the British Prison Service and working at HMP Dovegate received his award ‘for his work both inside the prison and with the local community’.
He was interviewed by The Mail back in 2004 (pictured) prior to receiving his award when the Princess Royal came to visit the category B jail.
About the award he said: “I am really pleased to get this award and it is a great honour and gives me an enormous amount of pride. It is great to know that the work I have done has helped people in the prison.”
He also spoke about his meeting with Princess Anne.
“The princess was very charming, very easy to talk to and very down to earth. She asked me about my work and how long I had worked in the prison. I felt it was easy to be myself in her presence”, he said.
Khan is also patron and founder of Hizb ur Rasool (HUR), a charity dealing with youth issues and the propagation of Islam.
He left his role at HMP Dovegate in February 2008.
HMP Dovegate issued the following statement: “A former imam at HMP Dovegate has been remanded in custody on child sex offence charges. This is a police matter.
“HMP Dovegate is an adult male prison.”